Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEWEST CERTIFIED MEMBER, WAJAANA YAAM ADVENTURE TOURS FOR ACHIEVING ECOTOURISM AND RESPECT OUR CULTURE (ROC) CERTIFICATION!

Congratulations to Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours for achieving Ecotourism and ROC certification for their stand-up paddle board tours and Giingan tour.

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours (WYAT) are running their tours on Gumbaynggirr land. All guides at WYAT are Aboriginal with permission from local elders. During their stand-up paddle tours, customers will not only be paddling in the beautiful Solitary island Marine Park, but also learn local stories on the Gumbaynggirr people. Depending on the tide, tours are running in three different locations and each location has its own stories. WYAT experienced guides will adjust their tours to the level of the group, hence no previous experience of stand-up paddle boarding is necessary. All tours also include bush tucker information, damper making and information on the local language.

 Wajaana Yaam SUP image 3 Facebook

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours (Facebook)

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours take great pride in keeping the Aboriginal culture alive and telling the history of Aboriginal people. Some of their profits are invested in the local Aboriginal youth through not-for profit organisation. Their award winning Giingan Walking tour is a guided bushwalk in the beautiful East State Forest. This tour provides an exceptional learning experience on the local Aboriginal culture by some of the best speakers in Gumbaynggirr country.

 Wajaana Yaam Supplied by owner 2

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours

 Wajaana Yaam Supplied by owner 4

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours purchasing locally produced products and guests are can purchase hand made products of local Aboriginal artists.

We here at Ecotourism Australia would like to extend a warm welcome to Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours!

                               

Hotel Yearbook 2020 Sustainable Hospitality Now Released

The “Hotel Yearbook 2020 – Sustainable Hospitality” has been released and is available online for free. Along the same lines as previous editions of the Hotel Yearbook, the 2020 Sustainable Hospitality edition gathers the thoughts and research from a wide-ranging group of senior executives, analysts, consultants and opinion leaders from all over the world […]

The post Hotel Yearbook 2020 Sustainable Hospitality Now Released appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

MEDIA RELEASE: ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA MEMBERS TAKE HOME OVER A QUARTER OF ALL NATIONAL TOURISM AWARDS

Ecotourism Australia certified operators have once again cleaned up at this year’s 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, taking home over a quarter of all awards including six gold, nine silver and six bronze.

With 21 awards won overall, Ecotourism Australia would have come first in the awards tally if it were a State. 

CEO Rod Hillman says that he is proud, but not surprised: “Our certified operators run amazing businesses. They’re not just focused on sustainability – they’re out there delivering exceptionally high-quality experiences that their visitors can’t stop talking about.

“On top of that, they’re passionate operators who pass on their love of what they do, and of the environment, to their guests. It’s no surprise that these operators get rewarded.”

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Photo: Nitmiluk Tours / Cicada Lodge team / Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Thirty-four Ecotourism Australia members were nominated for 38 awards across 15 categories, with Gold Awards won in the categories of Major Tour and Transport Operators, Tour and Transport Operators, Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services, Luxury Accommodation, Self-Contained Accommodation and of course, Ecotourism, the category which Ecotourism Australia sponsors.

“Ecotourism Australia has been sponsoring the Ecotourism category of the national tourism awards for the past three years,” explains Dr. Claire Ellis, Ecotourism Australia’s Chair, “and it’s great to see that every finalist was ECO Certified.

“Operators certified through our ECO Certification program deliver best practice ecotourism experiences in this country and by sponsoring this category of the awards, we ensure that this high quality is recognised and maintained.”

 

Fun over Fifty photo

Photo: Fun Over Fifty / Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

 

Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program is one of only six certification programs worldwide which hold the international stamp of quality assurance, as they are accredited through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and independently audited. With hundreds of sustainability certification programs now available worldwide, having this international accreditation helps both tourism operators and consumers to understand the difference between genuine, rigorous certification programs and those which are not backed by genuine sustainability efforts.

Red Cat Adventures photo 2

Photo: Red Cat Adventures / Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

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For more information about Ecotourism Australia and its certification programs, please visit the Ecotourism Australia website: www.ecotourism.org.au.

For more information about the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, please visit the awards website: https://qualitytourismaustralia.com/australian-tourism-awards/.

For questions / comments, please contact Rod Hillman, CEO:  0427 279 414

 

 

Ecotourism Australia’s Australian Tourism Award Winners 2019

Award

Operator

Certification

State/ Territory

Ecotourism (Gold)

Fun Over Fifty

Ecotourism

QLD

Luxury Accommodation (Gold)

Cicada Lodge at Nitmiluk Gorge

Ecotourism & ROC

NT

Major Tour and Transport Operators

(Gold)

Red Cat Adventures

Advanced Ecotourism

QLD

Self-Contained Accommodation (Gold)

The Frames Luxury Accommodation

Ecotourism

SA

Tour and Transport Operators (Gold)

Kimberley Quest

Advanced Ecotourism

WA

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services (Gold)

Cicada Lodge Restaurant at Nitmiluk Gorge

Ecotourism & ROC

NT

Adventure Tourism (Silver)

Roaring 40˚s Kayaking

Advanced Ecotourism

TAS

Cultural Tourism (Silver)

Paronella Park

Advanced Ecotourism & Climate Action Business

QLD

Ecotourism (Silver)

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Ecotourism

VIC

Hosted Accommodation (Silver)

Cobbold Village

Advanced Ecotourism

QLD

Major Tour and Transport Operators (Silver)

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Advanced Ecotourism

TAS

Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism (Silver)

Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge

Ecotourism & Respecting our Culture (ROC)

NT

Tour and Transport Operators (Silver)

Ocean Safari

Advanced Ecotourism & Climate Action Innovator

QLD

Tourist Attractions (Silver)

Capricorn Caves

Advanced Ecotourism

QLD

Unique Accommodation (Silver)

Whitsunday Escape

Ecotourism

QLD

Adventure Tourism

(Bronze)

Calypso Star Charters

Advanced Ecotourism

SA

Ecotourism (Bronze)

Three Capes Track

Protected Area Manager (PAM)

TAS

Major Tourist Attractions (Bronze)

Busselton Jetty

                Ecotourism

WA

Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism (Bronze)

Mossman Gorge Centre

Ecotourism & Respecting our Culture (ROC)

QLD

Specialised Tourism Services (Bronze)

Willie Creek Pearls at Elizabeth Quay

Ecotourism

WA

Visitor Information Services (Bronze)

Tourism Central Australia

Climate Action Business

NT

 

 

MARGARET RIVER BUSSELTON TOURISM ASSOCIATION ACHIEVES ADVANCED ECOTOURISM CERTIFICATION!

After a merger of the Augusta River Association and Geographe Bay Tourism Association, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) was established in 2015. From this merger, MRBTA can brag of having over 50 years of experience in destination marketing, customer service and natural and heritage asset management.

As a local tourism organisation, MRBTA endeavours to attract visitors to the Margaret River Region. They are currently running six tourist attractions across the region. Their attractions offer visitors to immerse themselves in an unforgettable natural experience both below and above the ground.

Lake Cave website 

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (Lake Cave)

Below the ground visitors can experience caves with different natural features. Cave tours vary depending on the level of access. Where some caves are offering from universal access where visitors can cruise around in their own pace, to adventure tours through the furthest reaches of the cave system.

Cape Naturaliste Website 

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (Cape Naturaliste)

Visitors that are looking for experiences above the ground have two magnificent lighthouses to visit. During daytime, visitors can go inside and up to the top of both lighthouses, where they will find spectacular views across beautiful landscapes. The climb at Cape Naturaliste is slight easier, whereas the climb at Cape Leeuwin is the tallest lighthouse on the mainland Australia. Both lighthouses offering visitors insight in Australian maritime history and stories of the lives of the lighthouse keepers.

Cape Leeuvin Lighthouse Website. 2 

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (Cape Leeuwin)

As an Advanced ECO certified member, MRBTA put great emphasis on investing in the conservation of the local cultural and environmental values. One example of this can be seen in that rainwater is collected and reused at all sites. Another example is when MRBTA strongly encourage their staff and visitors to re-use, recycle and reduce waste, and they are buying locally produced products to an as far extent as possible. To reduce visitor impact of natural areas, visitors are directed to boardwalks and designated walk tracks across all sites. MRBTA emphasis on community involvement can be seen in providing tree planting excursions with local schools and free access to one cave for year four classes within the region each year.

We are happy to welcome Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association as a member and would once again like to congratulate them on their achievement.

EVERYDAY ECOTOURISM HEROES EDITION 7: ELIZABETH HACKETT

For Elizabeth Hackett, Executive Chairman of Magnums Backpackers in Airlie Beach, the 2017 cyclone was a push to consider how sustainable building materials could be used in rebuilding and how native flora could be better protected.

It’s this infectious passion and commitment to environmental sustainability that sets Elizabeth apart as an Everyday Ecotourism Hero in her colleague Anushka Denning’s eyes:

“If I could describe Elizabeth in three words, they would be positive continuous improvement,” Anushka says.

Magnums sunset 1

Noting that it was Elizabeth who pushed the team to pursue ECO Certification, even though the business had been operating in a sustainable way for years, Anushka adds that Elizabeth is always encouraging the team to think outside the box and get involved in making Magnums even more sustainable:

“[Elizabeth] not only drives the ecotourism program, but she makes suggestions and supports the ideas of all who work for the company, providing encouragement and education.

“We all feel supported to make suggestions and the entire team take ownership of wanting to better our practices through her motivation and support.”

Being well connected in the Whitsundays community, Elizabeth was part of the recovery committee that drove the clean up effort following Cyclone Debbie in 2017. She has also built a reputation in the community for being environmentally aware and someone who is always seeking to improve and sustain the natural beauty of the area.

Magnums Tip 1

Some of the sustainability initiatives Elizabeth has led have included the installation of solar, the posting of eco tips for guests, staff and the public on Magnums’ website and social media, replacing chemicals with environmentally-friendly products and planting a herb garden.

“[The herb garden] has minimised rubbish from guests who buy the pre-packaged herbs from the supermarket, explains Anushka.

“Guests love it.”

Elizabeth also supported the office manager’s suggestion to shred office paper and provide this to community groups and pet shops and assists with composting when she visits the site.

“With the aim of being a paperless office, administrative staff now think twice before they use paper for printing!” says Anushka.

Accommodation Carousel 4 2

Magnums Backpackers also has signs scattered around the property which aim to boost awareness among guests of the impacts their visit can have. Recently, as Anushka notes, Magnums recruited for guest liaisons officer positions. Their job, among other tasks, is to provide information and education on ecological matters without being overbearing.

“As [Elizabeth] always says, ‘all our steps result in a giant footprint.’”

Thank you, Elizabeth, for being an Everyday Ecotourism Hero and thank you, Anushka, for your nomination!

Magnums wifi area 1

For more information on Magnums Backpackers, visit their website or Facebook page.

For more information on our other Everyday Ecotourism Heroes, check out the other articles in this series:

Is there someone in your business who you think is an Everyday Ecotourism Hero? Tell us about them!

Have we piqued your interest in travelling sustainably? Make sure you check out our Green Travel Guide and news page for some eco travel inspiration!

MEDIA RELEASE: ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Ecotourism Australia has signed an historic partnership agreement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) this month, cementing its position as a global leader in the field of sustainable and nature-based tourism and setting the stage for increased collaboration between the two organisations.

The partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and Ecotourism Australia Chair Dr Claire Ellis, sets out key areas of collaboration including:

  • Exchanging information on how national policies promote nature-based tourism and ecotourism
  • Collection, compilation and analysis of statistics on nature-based tourism and ecotourism
  • Cooperation on other areas such as UNWTO’s activities in South Pacific countries in relation to sustainability, nature-based tourism and climate change

“Ecotourism Australia is working closely with Australia’s nature-based tourism operators, destinations, protected area management agencies and government to help deliver social and environmental improvements to our regions, said Dr Ellis.

“As global tourism grows, sustainability in our sector is more important than ever. 

“With our increased focus on climate action, destination-wide certification and pursuing partnerships to deliver things that really matter to our members, we are excited to be entering into this partnership with the world’s leading tourism authority and look forward to working closely together over the coming months.”

The partnership will also be an opportunity for Australia to re-engage with UNWTO, the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of sustainable development through tourism.

“Tourism regularly outgrows the world economy and international trade. We not only have the responsibility to face up to the development challenge, we also have a real opportunity to deliver. UNWTO is very happy to partner with Ecotourism Australia to further advance tourism as a partner of the three pillars of sustainability – environment, economy, and society,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. 

As Australia’s ecotourism industry’s national advocate and standard setter, Ecotourism Australia continues to work closely with its international and national partner organisations to deliver world leading certification programs and drive value for its members. 

For more information about Ecotourism Australia, visit the Ecotourism Australia website: www.ecotourism.org.au

For more information about UNWTO, visit the UNWTO website: http://www2.unwto.org/

 

–          ENDS    –

 

For questions and comments, please contact: Rod Hillman, CEO – 0427 279 414

TOP TIPS ON MAKING THE MOST OF ATE 2019

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again: the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event, is just around the corner.

The Tourism Australia event, to be held this year in Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8 – 12 April, will be attended by around 1,500 Australian sellers from 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries and 70 international and Australian media.

Whether you’re a seasoned ATE veteran or a first-time attendee, we believe these top tips will help you to maximise your return on investment for the event in 2019.

How to make the most of ATE 2019 6

1. Know why you’re going

It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a key one. Why are you attending ATE in 2019? Is it to connect with new markets, reconnect with existing partners, showcase new product? Are there any other people you want to meet with while you’re in Perth? These things are all worth a thought before you go.

2. Be organised

It’s no joking matter: ATE is busy. Planning carefully – well in advance – what you’ll need to take, how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to do once you get there, as well as preparing your appointment schedule, will prevent countless headaches and stressful moments once you’re there. Once you’re in Perth, get to the convention centre early, make sure your booth is set up how you want it, go over your plan of attack for the week and – of course – determine which State has the best coffee so that you can minimise running time in between appointments!

How to make the most of ATE 2019 3

3. Know your markets

Who are your current target markets, and who do you want to attract in the future? Do you know what these markets are looking for, and how your product suits their needs? Do as much research as you can before you meet with a potential buyer, so that your conversations are focused, tailored and purposeful. Tourism Australia has some great resources that can help with this (see example below).

4. Get cultured

Relationship building at ATE often involves interacting with buyers from various cultures. Have you ever considered the power of learning just a few words of another language, to help break the ice and create a memorable experience with the buyers you’re meeting with? We suggest common phrases like hello, welcome, how are you and thank you are probably more appropriate and useful than I’d like a beer, please (keep that one for the networking sessions). 

How to make the most of ATE 2019 5

5. Tailor your networking

Let’s face it – the time you have between buyer and seller appointments can be extremely limited, and after repeating the same 15-minute spiel 25 times a day, it can be seem like an effort to wander off and network. We suggest prioritising finding other members of the Ecotourism Australia tribe and catching up on what’s happening in the ecotourism world – it’s a world driven strongly by passionate people who likely share your values, so you may find yourself carried off in all sorts of wonderful, inspiring conversations over lunch!

6. Take the opportunity to stay up to date

This year, Ecotourism Australia will be attending ATE as a Buyer only. Our CEO Rod and Communications and Audit Manager Lina look forward to catching up with you in Perth to:

  • Better understand the key issues your business is facing, so that we can represent your needs to our industry partners,
  • Update you on how we’re ensuring you stay ahead of the game through things like revising our certification criteria to meet scientific and market demand, growing the business case for sustainable tourism and taking climate action seriously
  • Share the key trends, topics and discussions that we’re seeing in our industry to reassure you that what you’re doing is making a difference

If you haven’t already, do make sure you lock in an appointment with us, as we’d love to check in with you and see how we can add even more value to your Ecotourism Australia membership.

Do you have any tips on how to make the most of your attendance at ATE? Tell us in the comments below!

For a little extra help, check out these great resources:

See you in Perth in 6 weeks!

How to make the most of ATE 2019 4